Skittled

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar August 7, 2015 16:14

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Skittled

by Satish Sekar © Satish Sekar (August 6th 2015)

Humiliated

It took less than 20 overs for England to all but secure the Ashes. Michael Clarkeʼs Australia were humiliated by England – dismissed in 18.3 overs for a paltry 60. This was the shortest first innings in Test Match cricketʼs history. Adding considerable insult to injury Australia succumbed meekly to an England side shorn of their record-holding bowler James Anderson.

Stuart Broad wrecked the Australian innings claiming 8 for 15. He was the first England bowler to take five wickets in a Test Match before lunch on the first day for over a century – Sydney Barnes did so against then whipping boys of Test cricket South Africa in 1913. Broad took just 19 balls to claim his 14th five wicket haul equalling the record of Australian Ernie Toshack who took 5 for 2 against India in Brisbane in 1947. Toshack dismissed top batsmen Vijay Hazare and Lala Amarnath before polishing off the lower order. Broad destroyed Australiaʼs top order.

Tumbling Down

Chris Rogers was the first to go for a duck – the third ball of the day. By the end of the over Steven Smith had departed as well. Two balls later Mark Wood took David Warnerʼs wicket for a duck. Broad ripped through the top order taking 4 for 6 in 11 balls. 25 balls into the morning the tourists were 21 for 5 when Adam Voges became Broadʼs fourth victim – Shaun Marsh went four balls into Broadʼs second over.

Broad was made to wait another eight balls to claim his fifth, the out of form Australian captain Michael Clarke for 10. Steven Finn bowled Peter Nevill for 2 before polished off the innings. Mitchell Starc went for 1 followed by top scorer Mitchell Johnson for 13 and to complete the humiliation number 11 Nathan Lyon was last out for 9 – the third highest score for Australia.

The entire innings had lasted a meagre 111 balls – the shortest first innings in Test history.

England responded with the bat too, ending a day they could hardly have dreamed of on 274 for 4. Embarrassingly Joe Root was undefeated on 124 more than double the Australian total on his own. The Ashes are all but secured.

The Batting Hall of Shame

Appalling as Australiaʼs batting was in this innings, it is far from the worst performance in Test cricket. There have been an incredible 37 worse innings than this. Minnows Zimbabwe have just three of them, but unlike Australia, England, South Africa, India, Pakistan, the West Indies and New Zealand, they have never been dismissed for less than 50. Zimbabweʼs worst is 51 against New Zealand in Napier in 2012.

Embarrassingly Bangladeshʼs worst performance was two runs better than Australiaʼs at Trent Bridge today. That came 8 years ago against Sri Lanka in Colombo. Sri Lankaʼs worst came over 20 years ago, 71, in Kandy against Pakistan – the best of the worst performances if it can put like that. South Africa hold the record of the most dismissals for under 50 – a remarkable 7. Incredibly the Proteas have been skittled for under 40 four times – 36 against Australia in 1932, 35 in 1899, and 30 twice, in 1896 and 1924 against England.

Australia have endured worse performances than this morningʼs too – six times. They equalled it at Lordʼs in 1888. This is far from their worst in the oldest rivalry. 58 in Brisbane in 1936, 53 at Lordʼs in 1896, 44 at the Oval in the same series, 42 in Sydney in 1888 and their worst ever performance 36 at Birmingham in 1902.

This isnʼt their worst recent batting performance. Having been dismissed most times for under 50 South Africa can at least claim to be the only team apart from England to rip through Australiaʼs batting order for under 50 – 47 in Cape Town in 2011.

Englandʼs worst performance came against Australia, 45 in Sydney in 1887. It took over a century to threaten that dubious distinction – 46 all out in 1994 in Port of Spain against the West Indies. New Zealand, however, hold the record for the lowest ever total in an innings in Test cricket – an absolutely incredible 26 all out in Auckland against England in 1955.

Nevertheless, none of this will provide the slightest comfort to Australia or Australians on a day they will want to forget, but know that England wonʼt permit it.

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar August 7, 2015 16:14
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